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can you respond if in the back row of the audience mitt romney stood up and said mr. kaplan, you are being defeatist. you are walking away from america's historical role, america is the essential power and you are talking about necessary decline. >> i am not being defeatist. i am being sly. i want american influence to extend long into the decades but it cannot do that bearing the same exact level of burden we have been bearing now. in the middle east we cannot confront russia, cannot confront china and be the hegemon in the greater middle east in leslie. we have to move closer to vladimir putin to balance against china but at the same time not let countries like vietnam and the philippines drag us into a war with china over the south china sea. it is about clever balancing and in any case the u.s. has so much shale oil deposits in texas, louisiana and other places i could name which is about geography that we are going to be because of energy reserves going to be a significant power for decades to come in any case so now is the time to try to get allies and like-minded others to
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